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Guide

Job Interviews: The Only 3 Tips You Need On How to Make A Positive First Impression

September 27, 2023

job interviews college students tips

Job interviews seem like another challenge in your professional life. Have you ever found concerned about the impression you make on the person interviewing you?

Obviously, you want to put on display only your best qualities as you step into the interview room.

First impressions can make or break your chances at success, so why risk it? 

Research suggests that people form 11 impressions of you in the first 7 seconds of meeting you—often referred to as the 7/11 rule.

What does this mean for you as the interviewee?

Interviewers may have already drawn conclusions about your suitability for the position between the seconds that you walked into the room and took a seat.

Talk about crucial first moments, huh?

So, it’s integral that you prepare for the interview.

How?

Let’s go through some of the best tips to improve your impression and prepare for the interview.

Appearance and Confidence for Job Interviews

Undoubtedly, your appearance plays a key role in shaping the initial impression someone forms of you. These three elements can make sure you stand out among applicants.

  1. Choice of Clothes

woman choosing clothes

Shopping illustrations by Storyset

Dressing appropriately for the interview is essential. In most cases, formal attire is expected.

Pay close attention to personal hygiene, as that helps ensure that you appear well-groomed and polished.

Remember, that even seemingly small details like your hair, accessories, and footwear, can prove your attention to detail and professionalism. Look sharp and feel confident!

2. Facial Expressions

man surprise

People illustrations by Storyset

As you step into the interview room, your facial expression is the first thing an interviewer will notice. People, specially those sitting to specifically judge you, can tell when you look tired or disinterested in a split second.

They won’t be impressed with a dull demeanor. Instead, practice a warm and welcoming smile to use as you greet the interviewer. This is crucial; your face remains central during the conversation, and a friendly expression can set a positive tone for the entire interview.

Keep your eyes open and blink naturally, and relax your eyebrows. This shows your interviewer that even in a possibly tense situation, you know how to appear or remain calm and composed.

3. Posture

cartoon

Work illustrations by Storyset

Too often underestimated, your posture speaks volumes! If you slouch or are too fidgety, you can seem lazy, underconfident, or anxious to your interviewer. This may not even be the case, and you’re likely the best fit for the role, but posture matters.

Maintaining good posture and composure demonstrates confidence and positions you as a strong candidate in the eyes of the interviewer. Posture is the best way to ensure that your body language is calm, welcoming, non-aggressive, and strong. 

Beyond appearance and body language, your oral and written conversational skills are equally vital.

Let’s see how to best prepare yourself for your interview, whether you’re the strongest speaker or a little anxious about fumbling through words and speaking too fast.

Conversational Skills

  1. Natural Eye Contact

job interviews

Work illustrations by Storyset

Establishing natural eye contact with the interviewer helps build a personal connection and conveys your genuine interest in the job. It also shows that you’re paying attention to what they’re saying or asking you. It’s a clear way to express your passion and engagement through non-verbal cues.

2. Speech Speed and Clarity

people talking

Work illustrations by Storyset

Effective communication is the main part of a successful interview. Speaking clearly and well helps establish your experience, views, expectations, and confidence during an interview. Speak at an appropriate speed and volume, and with clarity. Do not mumble or whisper.

Give the interviewer a chance to comprehend your responses and assess your public speaking skills, a critical asset in the professional world regardless of the industry.

3. Prior Communication

two men talking

People illustrations by Storyset

Don’t overlook your interactions with the company prior to the interview. Whether on call or email, this initial interaction serves as a part of your first impression on them.

Familiarize yourself with email etiquette, respond promptly within 24 hours, use professional language, and employ proper greetings and clear, concise language in your written communication.

This showcases your professionalism from the very beginning. Remember the names of those who helped arrange the interview, and those interviewing you.

Pro Tips to help you ace your job interviews

  1. Prepare Thoughtful Questions

woman doubting

People illustrations by Storyset

Make a list of 2-3 insightful questions in advance. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end of the interview, having some ready demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and the company. You can do this by studying the company’s history, the role it has held in the field, or asking about future goals that you can be a part of if hired.

2. Confidence Matters

woman in peace

Happy illustrations by Storyset

Practice your interview responses, and don’t be discouraged if things don’t go perfectly the first time. For example, if you fumble or find yourself speaking too quickly, simply pause, take a breath, and restart. Laugh it off! Perfection is not the expectation, but rather the ability to handle professional settings like interviews with poise and adaptability.

3. Don’t Forget to Smile

man in the corner

People illustrations by Storyset

It’s easy to become nervous during an interview, but try not to let your nerves overwhelm your expression. Like you, the people interviewing you also were in your position not long ago.

Regardless of their age and experience, you have something to learn from this interaction. Nervousness can sometimes make your facial expression appear stiff or intimidating.

A warm smile can go a long way in making you appear approachable and friendly to the interviewer.

 

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Clara Mori Business Development Assistant Intern at VisitMind

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